Though it had great potential, being the same creators as the Evil Dead series, Intruder (1989) just fell flat. Written and Directed by Scott Spiegel, the storyline is original because not many horror movies take place in supermarkets. However, the dialogue is so cheesy that it cannot be taken seriously and the acting is poor. The only actor that really sold his role is the killer, played by Dan Hicks. His facial expressions, mannerisms, and tone of voice are right on point and really show how psychotic that character is. The fight scenes in the beginning of the movie are so pathetic and edited so poorly that they are comical.
The only saving graces for this movie are the cinematography and the special effects. There is definitely a lot of experimentation with the cinematography in this film. It has all sorts of different shots including from inside a shopping cart, through the dial on a rotary telephone, and through a glass bottle. There is also a scene where the shots alternate between being of one of the characters and of a doorknob turning, and when it is the shots of the guy, the camera turns in sync with the knob.
The special effects team, who also did the Evil Dead movies, did an incredible job in this film. Especially great are the scenes where one of the characters gets his head crushed by a garbage compactor, and another gets his head sawed in half with a band saw. The gore looks so real that it makes you cringe.
The editing, for most the part, is done very well. The technique of having match shots during the killings is done very nicely. For example, the first killing is of a guy getting sliced by a knife but instead of showing it, as he was about to be killed, it cuts away to a watermelon being cut in half. Also, at one point there is a guy chopping some meat with shots of him holding the butcher knife in the air and bringing it down. Then there is a shot of him holding it in the air and as he brings it down, it cuts to the killer slicing a knife into the butcher’s head.
It is visible that the creators of the movie had a sense of humor with their killings. In a couple of shots, you can see that the man who got crushed was in boxes labeled “crushed fruit”, and a character who got sawed in half was in boxes labeled “half off”.
If you can get past the cheesy dialogue and odd characters, this is a good movie to check out. The cinematography and special effects definitely make it worth watching.